Because building a network is simply expanding your field of influence

There are different network groups using different approaches. Some network groups don’t restrict how many people there are from any particular profession, or industry. If there are 14 marketers, 17 brokers and 6 consultants, then so be it.

With this approach some may think “this type of group is not for me, there is too much competition”.

Consider this perspective. You are there to build your network, your sphere of influence. They are there to build theirs. Business comes from people in your network advocating for you so that you step straight into opportunities, with little or no competition. You do the same for them.

Also, chances are, in the group even if we are in the same industry, we are in different sectors and have different skills, interests, preferences and approaches. We could consider collaborating where we complement each other, or collaborate to generate and service a greater volume of business.

How do you build your network strategically? Consider your perfect client. Who is in the lanes either side of you? Who did your client speak to or do business with before they got to you? They are your strategic partners. The people they do business with after dealing with you can also be your strategic partners.

For example, in property development, the lanes on one side might be architects, real estate agents, and town planners. On the other side might be furniture retailers, body corporate managers, and again, real estate agents.

If you are there to “work the group”, and not build your own network, that strategy may have a limited life. You can contribute to the group by building your network and widening possibilities for collaboration across the group. If you perceive there is competition, reconsider that if you are building your network, you can create opportunities so that there is less or no competition.

There are many approaches taken by networking groups, so find the one that suits you, and learn and use its unique qualities. Your network is an asset.